Friday, October 9, 2009

Homestead-Miami Preview

By: Tony Donohue

The Indy Car Series will finish up the exciting 2009 season this weekend at the Miami Homestead Speedway. For the first time in series history, the site for the season's final race will be held at Homestead. Since Homestead has been on the scheduled, dating back to 2002, it has been the kick off race to season. It takes the finale duties away from the Chicagoland Speedway. It has been over a year and a half since the Indy Car Series has ran at Homestead. Many stories lines head this weekends race, of course the exciting championship finale and among others, drivers look to end the season on a high note, and gain momentum for next season, as others will display their abilities in hopes for a contract next season.

Lets start with the championship. Scott Dixon leads teammate Dario Franchitti by five points, and is eight points up on third place Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe lead the points heading into last months race at Motegi, but wrecked in the pit lane, falling him to third in the standings. Franchitti and Dixon have the expereience. Dario hung out in 2007 to beat Scott Dixon at the final race, claiming the win and his first Indy Car Championship, and last season, Scott Dixon came down to the wire with Helio Castroneves to take the crown, his second of his career, but don't count out Briscoe. We have seen all year, when Briscoe is hot, he is hot. He has 2 wins on 1.5 mile ovals this season, and will be in contention. It is clearly very hard to pick the winner of the championship, it will come down to patience, great pit stops and a little bit of luck. My championship pick. Dario Franchitti.

There is plenty more to watch for this weekend. Lets start with Newman Haas Lanigan Racing. It adds driver Alex Lloyd to its lineup, he will pilot the second entry sponsored by HER Energy Drink, and speaking of pink cars, Sarah Fisher will pilot her new #67 Pink Dollar General Honda to raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Indy Car officials will also be sporting the pink colors. Tomas Scheckter is also a driver looking to get a ride for next season. He has always ran well at Homestead, including 2 Poles in his career there, look for him to be in contention, just like he was at Chicagoland. My pick to win this weekend though is Graham Rahal. Newman Haas Lanigan has won a major open wheel race every year dating back to 1994. I think the streak will continue, with a win in the final race. I think this will be one of the most competitive races of the season, with alot of different strategies being used as teams will have nothing to lose heading into the off season. My dark horses for the race are Tomas Scheckter, Ed Carpenter and Mario Moraes.

You can catch the race at 4 est on Versus Saturday afternoon. Also, follow @16andgeorgetown and @tonydonohue on twitter for updates and comments during the race. 16thandgeorgetown.com is also on Facebook and Myspace, so please add us to your friends list. Stay updated through the offseason on our site. Upcoming driver interviews and stories will get us through the long off season. I will also be doing some articles looking back on the past decade of Indy Car races, and more Where Are they Now articles will be posted! Everyone enjoy the final race of the season!


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